Action 52 is the name of two unlicensed multicarts released by Active Enterprises. Each cart consisted of 52 individual and original video games. The first was released in September 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System video game console, with a second released in May 1993 for the Sega Genesis (a Super Nintendo Entertainment System version was advertised in some magazines, but never released). It initially retailed for the comparatively high price of US$199 (or "less than $4 for each game"), and became notorious among gamers for the abysmal quality of its games. Many video game collectors value Action 52 for its notoriety and rarity.
Identifier sg_Action_52_1993_Active_Enterprises_FarSight_TechnologiesMediatype softwareScanner Internet Archive Python library 0.5.2Publicdate 2014-05-06 02:56:21Addeddate 2014-05-06 02:56:21Emulator_ext binEmulator genesisCreator Active Enterprises/FarSight TechnologiesDate 1993Year 1993Language English
The boxes state that the carts contain "52 'new and original' exciting games". The games cover a variety of genres, although the most common are scrolling shooters and platform games. Among the games is The Cheetahmen, Active's attempt at creating a franchise similar to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The Sega Genesis version of Action 52 was developed by FarSight Technologies. This version features a different lineup of games, some with more work put into design and fewer technical issues than the NES version. Each game is color-coded on the main menu screen; "Beginner" games are displayed in a green font, "intermediate" games are displayed in a purple font, "expert" games are displayed in a yellow font, and multiplayer games are displayed in a blue font. In addition to the 52 games listed above, the Mega Drive/Genesis version features a music test mode, and a "randomizer" option. If selected from the main menu, the randomizer will randomly choose and start one game from the 52 available on the cartridge. The fifty-second game, Challenge, is an endurance test to see how long the player lasts in a random series of the highest levels of the other games.
Several new games were introduced in the Sega version. A number of these have the same name as games on the NES cartridge, although they are not the same game; the Sega Haunted Hills, for instance, is entirely different from the NES Haunted Hills. Other games feature other changes, including a version of The Cheetahmen in which the titular Cheetahmen rescue captured cheetah cubs from monsters, which is completely different from the original NES game. The bosses from the NES version appear as enemies.